The Triumvirate

Part II

Although I said that my talk to the class was the beginning of my adventure, nothing really happened for over a year. Oh, sure, I grew more accustomed to thinking of myself as gay. I began jerking off in bed at night. I looked surreptitiously at other boys, especially in the locker room and showers. I was anxious to begin a relationship, but I was afraid to approach anyone else and nobody approached me, even though the whole school knew I was gay. Caleb wasn’t gay, but we remained best friends until he moved away at the end of the school year.

Early in my freshman year in high school, I decided to join the drama club. After all, my own brother had called me a drama queen and remembering back to kindergarten, when I liked to dress up, I thought the club might be fun. I didn’t really expect a part in a play, at least not as a freshman, but I thought it was a way to explore myself more.

The members of the club welcomed me eagerly and asked what club activities I was interested in. When I said I didn’t know what the different ones were, except for acting, they told me about set design, props, costumes, makeup and more. All of them sounded like fun, but I thought I might like set design in addition to acting.

In the first few meetings, we played drama games, some of which involved improvising or pantomime. I enjoyed the games and began to become acquainted with the others in the group.

Eventually, the club advisor told us about the play we’d be doing in December and encouraged us to try out for parts. I tried out for any part I could get but wasn’t cast in the play. Others told me that was usual for freshmen and not to worry.

Since I wasn’t cast in the play, I worked on set design and construction. I learned a lot about using different levels on the stage, including constructing stairs and a second level. I learned about making frames for scenery and painting a backdrop that looked three-dimensional. The painting was fun, and I was told that I did a good job.

One of the others doing set design was a boy named Ryan Ackroyd. He was a senior, so I hadn’t met him before I joined the drama club. We talked together as we worked and sometimes had lunch together.

When he invited me to his house to play video games one day, I readily accepted. His house was close enough to the school for us to walk there, me rolling my bike along so I’d be able to use it later when I left his house. His home was a two story one set back from the street. As we entered, he said that his mother worked until at least 5:00 every day so we’d be alone until then. I didn’t ask him about his father or possible siblings.

We went into the kitchen, and he made snacks for us. As we chatted, he asked what subjects I had, which ones were easy for me and which were hard. I didn’t want to admit it, but I finally told him that writing was my hardest subject.

Smiling, he said, “Okay, I’m good at that. I could give you some help if you’d like. I wouldn’t do the writing, of course, but I could go over what you’d written and help you with editing.”

I liked the idea, so when we went up to his room, I pulled a paper I’d written out of my backpack. It was due a few days later, on Friday, and I had had some problems with it. He read it carefully, making several suggestions, things I needed to expand on or say differently or just punctuate better. He also suggested that I bring it back on Thursday so he could look over the next copy. I thanked him and then he set up a video game.

We played, laughing and even gently punching shoulders occasionally, until we heard his mother come home. Downstairs, Ryan introduced me to his mother, telling her what we’d been doing.

I lived quite a distance from his house, but it was early enough in the year that it wasn’t yet dark outside. When I left, promising to return on Thursday, I shouldered my backpack and rode my bike back past school and then home.

At supper that night, I told my family about visiting Ryan. Henry knew him and said he seemed to be a good kid but mostly kept to himself.

I worked over my paper Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and was ready to take it to Ryan on Thursday. After school, we met at the school door and walked again to his house, where he fixed us another snack.

In his room, he asked to see my revision. He read it carefully, smiled a couple of times, and finally said it was much better, although he did suggest one change which would be easy to make.

“Would you like to keep doing this?” he asked. “Maybe we could work on Tuesdays and Thursdays if you think that’d help you.”

I smiled and quickly agreed.

Looking me in the face, he said, “Liam, has anyone ever told you that you have a beautiful smile?”

“Only Mam,” I giggled, adding, “and I think she’s a little prejudiced.”

He laughed. “Well, you do. That smile is gonna melt someone’s heart someday. I know you’re gay, so I assume you don’t have a girlfriend. Do you have a boyfriend?”

“Nah,” I answered, “I’m too scared to ask anyone for fear they might not be gay and would hit me or something.”

He just nodded and we played games until his mother came home.

I made a couple of changes in my paper, and on Friday I handed it in to my English teacher.


Sundays were always a family time for us. All the boys made it a point to be home, and not only for the special dinner Mam cooked. In the mornings we went to church. Although I didn’t really believe in God, I felt at home there and always enjoyed the ritual. After all, it was much like theater and I was a drama queen. I secretly wondered whether the priest was a drama queen too.

By then, Mikey—yes, we still called him that—and Johnny had both graduated from high school. Mikey had no interest in continuing school, so he became an apprentice to an auto mechanic. Johnny wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, so he enrolled in the local community college, thinking that if he wanted to go on to more college, he could transfer. Tommy was a sophomore, Bobby was a junior, and Henry was a senior. Sundays were often the only times we all saw each other.

In the afternoons we sat around reading the Sunday newspapers and talking about what we’d read, particularly the political and sports news. Sunday nights were given over to preparing for the next week’s classes.

On Monday, in English class, we got our papers back. Mine had a big, red A with the words, “Well done,” below it. I was thrilled, and I knew I’d tell Ryan about it when we were at his house the next day.

As we were working together on the set during drama club, I was aching to tell him about the paper, but I decided I really wanted to do it when I could show it to him privately. After all, I didn’t want anybody thinking I was bragging or anything.

Tuesday afternoon, in Ryan’s bedroom, he asked about my paper. I pulled it out, handing it to him facedown. He turned it over, smiled, and gave me a hug. I was in heaven. Not only had he approved of my work, it was the first hug I’d ever gotten from a boy other than a brother or Caleb.

I showed him the new assignment, which I had written the night before. Again, Ryan went over it and made some suggestions before we played games.

When his mother came home, we rose, and before we went downstairs, Ryan hugged me again, harder and longer this time, as he whispered, “Congratulations,” in my ear.

I don’t even remember riding home or much about supper. When I tried to work on my paper, I was still in a dream world, hoping Ryan was gay and thinking about how much I liked him. I thought he was terribly handsome with his well-developed body, winning smile, and long black hair, and he could be very charming. He seemed sincerely interested in helping me, and we always had a good time together. I wondered a little why he was interested in helping me, since he was three years older than I was, but I decided that helping people was just in his nature.

That night, as I jerked off, I thought of Ryan, naked as I imagined him the way I had each night for the last couple of weeks.

Play rehearsals were going well, and the set was nearly finished. The play would be presented to the school on the Friday afternoon following the Thanksgiving holiday, and there would be a Saturday evening performance for parents and friends.

Ryan and I continued to meet twice a week. I was getting frequent hugs from him and I began to initiate a few of my own.

One Tuesday afternoon, as we hugged, he tilted his head down and kissed me gently on my lips. A tingle went up my spine as I leaned into the kiss, letting him know that I liked it. Then I felt his tongue on my lips. I’d heard of tonguing but of course I hadn’t ever done it. Opening my mouth, I let his tongue in. He moved it around in my mouth, sort of dancing with my tongue and feeling all over my mouth and teeth. I loved the sensation, so when he withdrew his tongue, I did the same in his mouth, and I felt a quiver in my stomach.

I was hard by then, but I didn’t know about him until we finally broke the kiss and stepped back. I could see his firm willy pushing his pants out, and I grew even harder.

We looked at each other for a long time, before Ryan smiled and said, “You really are gay, aren’t you?”

I nodded. “Are you?”

“Yup. I’ve been watching you ever since I heard in school that you were gay.”

I blushed, embarrassed but also very happy. My first gay boyfriend!

I had a thought that took me aback for a moment. “Are you only helping me because you wanna do gay stuff?”

“No,” he said. “I’m helping you because I like helping people and I enjoy working with you, although, I do admit that you were the reason I joined the drama club.”

I thought about that for a moment before he said, “It’s kinda late, now, because Mom’ll be home soon, but would you like to do a little more experimenting next time?”

As he spoke, I know my eyes grew bigger and bigger. Was he suggesting sex? Real, honest-to-God, boy-on-boy sex? I wasn’t sure just what he had in mind, but I managed to murmur, “Yeah.”

His face lit up. “Great. It’s a date.”

Then his front door opened and we knew his mother was home.

On my bike as I headed home, I dreamed of what this could mean, what he was thinking of doing. In the evening, I didn’t make much progress on my writing. I just couldn’t concentrate. Later, as I jerked off in bed, I pictured him naked in my arms, or maybe sucking me. I spewed more cum than I ever had before. And in the night, when I woke up, I again came really hard.

I found it difficult to concentrate in my classes the next day, and a couple of times, teachers caught me daydreaming.

On Thursday, I could hardly wait to get to Ryan’s house. After snacks, when we were in his bedroom, he held out his hand for the paper I’d been working on. I was kind of disappointed because I’d hoped we’d immediately fall into each other’s arms.

He read the paper, which he had first seen on Tuesday, nodding as he did so. He made a couple of suggestions which I tried to listen to. By then my heart was pounding. I had my back to him as I returned the paper to my backpack. At that moment I felt his arms reaching over my shoulders. I turned into his hug and he led me to his bed, where he told me to lie down. He got on the bed nearly on top of me and kissed me hard on the lips. I returned the kiss and then we were tonguing each other and rolling on the bed.

I had always thought he was handsome, but just then he exuded a sexuality which I could feel physically.

He told me to stop for a moment. When I did, he peeled my T-shirt off before removing his own. Then he was on top of me again, with more kissing and rolling. I loved the sensual feeling of his skin touching mine. I could feel his hard willy and I was sure he could feel mine.

He broke the kiss and began licking and kissing my ears, sticking his tongue right in them. An electric charge zoomed through me like lightning. From there he moved to my neck and then my collarbones. He began working his way down my chest, taking his time as he flicked my nipples with his tongue until they were hard. Oh, that felt good! All this time, my excitement kept growing. I was breathing hard, and I was afraid I’d shoot in my pants.

After he tongued my belly button, he undid my belt. Then he opened the button and pulled my zipper down.

I worried whether he’d think my willy was big enough or if he’d just laugh.

He rose and slowly pulled my pants down and off before removing his own. There we were, with only our boxers on. I could see there was a little fluid on his. He reached down and took hold of my willy through my boxers, just holding it. Again, I was afraid I’d cum before he was ready.

He finally removed my boxers, taking a moment to peel off his own as well. And there we were, just as I’d been dreaming it, stark naked and fully excited. He gazed at my willy, murmuring, “Beautiful. Just beautiful.” His was much bigger—fatter and longer. I stared at it, agog.

“This first time, I’m just gonna give you a blow job. There’s a way we can do it at the same time, but that’s a later lesson.”

He knelt so he was straddling me, leaned over, took hold of my willy, and gently took it in his mouth while he held my balls in his other hand. I was so sensitive there I knew I couldn’t hold out for long. He licked along my willy before taking it in his mouth again and moving up and down on it.

I tried to hold back as I felt the pressure rising, but I couldn’t, and I exploded in his mouth several times. The sensation was incredible, and I felt like I’d gone straight to heaven. He stopped while I was shooting, but he didn’t take his mouth away.

When I’d finally shot everything I could, he kept me in his mouth as he moved his hand gently on my balls and under them while I began to go soft. My tip was sensitive, but not in a way that hurt. I felt dizzy for a moment or two before he removed his mouth, looked deliberately at me, and swallowed. “Yum,” he said, smiling. “Have you ever tasted cum before?” When I shook my head, he said, “Well, now’s your chance.”

He moved off me and, without him saying anything, I knew he wanted me to do the same to him. I straddled him and kissed and licked his ears and his neck before I worked down to his belly button and from there to the base of his willy. Then I licked the insides of his legs where they joined with his crotch. I loved his scent down there. He moaned and I asked if I was hurting him.

“No!” he exclaimed. “Just keep doing it.”

I tried to take my time, working his huge willy with my tongue before I actually put it in my mouth. Moving up and down, I sucked and licked him a little and soon his back began to arch as he moaned.

As he came in my mouth, he shouted, “Agggggggggh!”

I liked the taste of his cum, I decided, although I couldn’t really describe it. I wondered if it was the same as mine and resolved to check that night.

We lay for a time, side by side, coming down off our highs.

I broke the silence, saying, “That was amazing! I never knew it could be that good.”

“You liked it did you?”

“Yeah.” I looked over and grinned at him.

“Well, you just wait a while and I’ll show you more. But I guess that’s enough for today.”

He went into the bathroom, returning with two wet cloths and we cleaned ourselves off. Reluctantly, I put my clothes back on. When we were dressed, we stood and just held each other until we heard his front door open.

“Thank you so much!” I whispered.

After a final juicy kiss, I gathered up my backpack and we went downstairs.

Riding home, I was both exhausted and wonderfully happy.

That night, when I performed my usual bedtime gymnastics, I tasted my own cum and tried to compare it with Ryan’s. They were pretty close to the same, but I thought mine was just a little sweeter.

With that, I cleaned myself off with a sock, rolled over, and fell into a deep sleep.


Thanksgiving was always a merry time at home. Mam baked two turkeys and a ham, breads and rolls, and several pies. The meal always included yams, green beans, corn, onions, and, of course, cranberry sauce. My brothers and I ate way too much and then nearly passed out lying on the living room floor after the meal.

The next day, Mikey brought his new girlfriend to meet us. By then, Mikey was six foot four inches and he towered over the rest of us, but not nearly as much as he towered over Gwen. She was only five foot two inches tall and easily the shortest one at the table. I wouldn’t say she was pretty, but she was cute, and it was clear that she and Mikey doted on each other.

Of course, we brothers did all we could to embarrass him, but he gave as good as he got. There was a lot of laughter around the supper table where we feasted on leftovers from the day before.

When I saw Ryan the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I begged him to meet me more days than Tuesdays and Thursdays, but he said that he was busy on the other days. By then, we were spending little time on my writing and more on the bed. He introduced me to new ways and positions, including what he called “sixty-nining”. We got good enough at that so we could climax at the same time.

By then I was certain I was in love with him, but I hadn’t said anything to him before. As we cuddled naked following a wonderful, sweaty climax, I whispered in his ear, “I love you.”

He grinned at me and replied, “And I love you, my sexy playmate.” I was thrilled.

Our play was given on the first Friday and Saturday of December. The school kids seemed to enjoy it on Friday and the audience for the Saturday evening performance was very appreciative. Of course, it consisted mostly of friends and family of the cast members.

There’s a tradition in theater that after the final performance, the set has to be struck the same evening, so we worked until about 1:00 in the morning. That night I fell into bed and was instantly asleep.

On the Tuesday afternoon before school got out for Christmas, Ryan promised me a “Christmas treat” on Thursday. I told him I didn’t have anything for him, but he said the treat was something we could share. I wondered whether it was something to eat or something sexy.

Thursday was the last school day before the Christmas vacation. At Ryan’s house, anticipating my treat, I could barely wait as we had our after-school snack. When there was nothing special to eat, I decided the treat must be something to do with sex.

Upstairs, Ryan hugged me and then began peeling off my shirt. I started to do the same for him, but he told me to stop, that he wanted to do it all. He lowered my pants and I stepped out of them. Then he lowered my boxers and gently gripped my willy, which was already oozing precum. Soon, we were both lying on the bed, naked, kissing, and rolling. While I loved it, I began to wonder where the treat was.

“Now,” said Ryan, as he lay back on the bed, “I’m gonna fuck you. You’ve never been fucked before, have you?”

“No,” I answered, “I don’t even know how two guys can do that.”

He told me to lie face down on the bed and then get up on my hands and knees. Kneeling behind me, he put his hands on my buns. Spreading them apart some, he began licking my hole. I had no idea that was gonna happen until it did. Wasn’t my hole dirty? I wondered. I guessed not, because his tongue was going round and round it and then working right inside! Again I was surprised, but God it felt good. I shivered with pleasure. The feeling was incredibly intense. I had no idea that I could be that sensitive back there.

Soon, he pulled his tongue away and put something from a tube on his middle finger, saying, “This is lube to make me go in more easily.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by “go in” until he stuck his finger in my hole, pushing it in slowly until it was as far as it would go. He moved his finger around inside, and my willy grew harder and harder. I don’t think it had ever been so hard. It actually ached a little, but I didn’t care. I was enjoying myself too much.

He pulled out his finger, put more lube on my hole and his fingers, and then put first two and then three fingers in. The pressure on my hole grew with each additional finger.

At last, he pulled his fingers out, put the same lube on his willy and said, “Now, lie on your back.” When I did, he told me to hold up my legs and then rest them on his hips.

“Okay, here’s your treat. I gotta tell you your asshole’s a little small and tight, so this can hurt some at first as my cock goes into you, but that’s only temporary. If it hurts too much let me know.”

With that, he stuck the tip of his willy in my hole and began to push. I felt the tip as it passed into my hole. What an incredible sensation. He kept slowly pushing until his huge, fat willy got to a point where I was hurting, and I groaned some. He stopped and just rested for a minute. Then he began to push harder, past that point until he came to another one and I groaned again. At last he pushed in until he could go no further.

Having him inside me like that was amazing. He was big and he filled me almost too much, but I was in ecstasy.

He began moving slowly in and out, and I moaned with pleasure. He shifted himself a little, and his willy struck a place inside that was unbelievably sensitive. It sent a charge through my whole body, and I cried out, “Aah, aah, aah!” After pausing for a moment, he continued moving in me, reaching one hand down and taking my willy, rubbing his hand gently on it as he moved inside me, exciting me more than ever.

“I’m gonna come,” I gasped.

“Good,” he answered, and kept up the slow, stimulating motions of his willy and his hand.

He finally pushed himself all the way in and I felt him come in my ass, filling it with his love fluid as I too came, panting, and shooting all over my chest and stomach. “Oh God! Oh God!” I shouted, blurting out, “Oh, my God, I love you, Ryan!” He just smiled, continuing to move until we were both empty. Then he slowly pulled his willy out. Even that was sexy. He cleaned us both up and then lay beside me.

“So how did you like your Christmas treat?”

I rolled towards him, hugging him hard and saying, “I never knew sex could be that wonderful. Thank you.”

He smiled his beautiful smile again saying, “You’re welcome. If you’re a good boy, we can do that many, many times.”

Delighted, I just held him tight until it was time to dress and go.


Christmas was another happy time shared by all the family. The custom in our family was that a week before Christmas, each of us boys drew the name of one of our brothers out of a hat which Da held. We weren’t supposed to tell who we got, but we were supposed to get a present for that brother. We also got presents for Mam and Da.

I drew Mikey and decided I should get him a silver picture frame so he could put a photo of Gwen in it. I managed to contact Gwen and tell her what I was giving him, and she promised to give him a picture.

Christmas Eve we always went to midnight Mass. The church was filled with the scents of pine boughs, candles, and incense. It was my favorite service of the year, even more than Easter. Afterwards, as we walked home, it was snowing, creating a perfect Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning we emptied our stockings, which had been mysteriously filled overnight, even Mam’s and Da’s. After breakfast, we sat in the living room as I passed out the presents. In our family, going way back to the family in Ireland, it was the custom for the youngest to distribute the presents. Bobby gave me a new jackknife, Mam gave me a beautiful cardigan sweater, and Da gave me a wonderfully warm leather jacket with wool lining.

When Mikey opened his present from me, he gave a little laugh, held up the frame, and said, “Now all I need is a picture to put in it.”

I looked over at Mam, who was in on the secret, and she gave me a wink.

After we finished with the presents, my brothers and I went out to shovel our driveway and the walk. Of course, a lot of snowballs were involved as well continuous giggling and laughing.

In the afternoon, the doorbell rang, and I ran to answer it. Gwen came in, took off her coat, and handed Mikey a package while he handed one to her.

Gwen opened her present, taking out a pair of very pretty silver earrings. She immediately removed the ones she was wearing and put on the new ones. Then she gave Mikey a hug and a kiss.

When Mikey unwrapped his and opened the box, he grinned, and took out Gwen’s picture. Looking accusingly at me, he said, “You knew about this, didn’t you?”

Gwen, Mam, and I all laughed.

“Well, I love it!” he said as he hugged Gwen and kissed her.


School started again on the Tuesday after New Year’s Day. Even though it had snowed over vacation, the streets and sidewalks were clear so we could still ride our bikes. The winter weeks were rather dreary except for my Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, but I didn’t care because I was in love and becoming increasingly so with each passing day.

One Thursday I asked Ryan if he’d let me fuck him, as he’d always been doing me. He agreed and, since my willy was smaller than his, we didn’t have much of a problem. It went in so easily that I briefly wondered if Ryan had done it with someone else before he met me. We both enjoyed it but agreed that we liked him doing me better. So that’s what we did after that.

Meanwhile, I was making good progress with my writing and rarely needed to ask Ryan for help.

In March, the teacher gave us a three-week assignment, in which we were to write about two books we had read in class, The Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies, and tell how they were alike and different.

At first I had absolutely no ideas. I couldn’t think of anything they had in common except that they were both about boys.

I didn’t write anything for the first week, except to make some notes as ideas occurred to me. In the second week, I wrote a rough draft, often going back and rewriting passages. In the third week, I did some more rewriting and editing, checking to be sure that everything was as good as I could make it. I didn’t show it to Ryan at all. I wanted to see how I could do on my own.

On Friday, when we passed in our essays, I was very anxious. I had no idea whether I’d done well or not. Our teacher said that she planned to return the essays on Wednesday.

So I was nervous for days. On Tuesday, I told Ryan about the essay and how nervous I was. “Think of it this way,” he said. “Every time you write something, it’s a learning experience. It’s practice. If you did well, then you’ve learned something, about yourself. If you didn’t do well, then try to figure out why, and you’ll have learned something that way.”

I nodded. I wasn’t reassured, but I forgot my anxiety while we had ecstatic sex on his bed. As I said, we had tried some different positions for fucking, but I liked the first way we had done it best because I could look at his face as he did me, and that made it seem even more intense.

That Wednesday, our English class came after lunch. I was anxious all morning. I could barely eat anything at lunch, which was rare for me. Looking around the lunchroom, I could see a few other nervous people barely touching their food, so I knew I wasn’t alone.

We filed silently into the classroom after lunch. Nobody said a word. Our teacher spoke for a few minutes about some ideas she found in the essays. I was certain she was just stringing us along, torturing us. Finally, she began passing out the papers. Each paper had a note stapled to it.

When she gave me my paper, I could barely look at it, but as I did, I began grinning. I looked at the grade first. Didn’t everyone? It was an A+! I was so excited I could barely focus on her note. She picked out ideas I had that she liked, and one passage which she thought didn’t quite work, but ended by saying it was an “outstanding freshman paper.”

At the end of the class, I floated out of the room. I didn’t even remember what happened in our history class, the last one of the day.

I decided I wanted to go see Ryan, even though it wasn’t Thursday. I was just so excited to share it with him.

Going out the main door of the school, I was stopped by a couple of other boys who wanted to talk about the English assignment and their results. Although I was in a hurry, I wanted to be polite, so I stopped and talked with them for about twenty minutes. One wasn’t sure about something the teacher had written, and I tried to help him understand. The other was really upset. I comforted him and pointed out some things he could learn from his results. I admit I gave him Ryan’s line about it being a learning experience.

At last I left the school and rode my bike to Ryan’s house. When I got to his front door, it was unlocked. That told me he was home, so I just went in. I raced quietly up the stairs and burst into his room, saying, “Ryan, look at…”

I didn’t get any farther. Ryan was on his bed, naked, and he was fucking a boy.

“What…?” I began.

Ryan turned, looked shocked, got off the boy, and came over to me, saying, “I can explain, Liam.”

“No you can’t. You don’t have to try. Everything’s perfectly clear. How many boys are you fucking?”

He didn’t say anything, just stood in front of me as his willy shriveled.

I hadn’t even noticed who the other boy was. Looking past Ryan, I saw Dylan Cluny, who had pulled the sheet up over himself. I just stared at him and he stared back, but then he got out of the bed and dressed. He walked over to where Ryan and I were still standing, glaring at each other.

Ryan tried to get out of his predicament, saying, “You know you don’t come here on Wednesdays. What I do when you’re not here is none of your business.”

By then I was crying. I was humiliated, but I managed to shout, “You said you loved me. You treated me like I was the center of your life. But that was all lies, wasn’t it?” I moved very close to him and began pounding on his chest. “You were just using me, getting your jollies fucking me and probably laughing all the time. You’re nothing but a worthless, lying, fucking bastard and I hate you!”

I ran out of the room and down the stairs. By the time I got to the front door, Dylan was right behind me.

“We need to talk,” he said.

“I’m supposed to talk with the boy who kicked me in the balls and left me naked in the woods? I don’t think we’ve anything to say to each other.”

I went outside and climbed onto my bike, but I couldn’t ride for a minute because I wasn’t able to see through my tears.

Dylan came up beside me and grabbed my handlebars. “Liam, please don’t do this. I hate what I did three years ago. If I could have undone it, I would have. Every time I see you in the halls, I feel guilty all over again. Please, don’t, Liam. Please talk to me.”

“No!” I answered. I wiped my eyes, jerked my bicycle out of his hands and rode away.

I was hurt. I was so, so hurt. How could I have been such an idiot? How could I think that a senior would have any interest in me except as a sex toy?

When I got home, I ran up to my room, slammed the door, and cried for a long time.

Shortly before supper time, there was a knock on my door. I opened it and Mam walked in, hugged me, and then sat beside me on the bed. “When you’re ready, Liam,” she said, “you can tell me what happened.”

I froze. Yes, she knew I was gay, but I couldn’t possibly tell her all the things I had been doing with Ryan. I just couldn’t.